Updated: Aug 29, 2019
It’s back to school time and I wanted to remind everyone to use their strategies to adjust to the new schedules and demands that come with the new school year. Just as a reminder- it starts with us, the adults. You’ve gotta put on your oxygen mask before you can put on someone else's, right? We need to get enough sleep, get in some muscle work, keep our dinners simple, and breathe. While you are working on that- here are a few strategies you can use with your kiddos at the same time to help them transition to the new schedule.
Use a visual schedule
With schedule changes it is really important to make and use a visual schedule. This schedule can be as simple as writing on a dry erase board- I like to use different colors for the different activities to help the viewer see the different steps. You might only need to use the visual schedule for a month or you may find that is a great tool to use all year round.
Get in some muscle work
Make sure there is time in the day for some muscle work. Try some morning stretches to some organizing music, eating a crunchy or chewing breakfast and drinking from a straw. After school give your child a crunch or chewy snack, drink from a straw then have them shoot some hoops, have a dance party or go climb on the play structure.
Use calming strategies to help with transitions
Mouth work and rhythmical, organizing music is often times helpful when transitioning to homework or coming in from outdoors. I like to put a bowl on the table with gum and mints for homework time. Drinking from a straw while doing homework is also helpful to maximize focus and attention. Consider alternative seating for homework time- standing at the kitchen table, lying on stomach with small pillow under shoulders or sitting on a yoga ball (make sure your child’s feet are flat on the ground and their knees are near 90 %).
Don’t forget- breathing exercises!
Breathing- is so important for both us, and our children- as we get ready to leave the house in the morning, before we start dinner, homework, or before we go to bed. Deep breathing increases oxygen flow, works the muscles in our shoulders and chest, and releases all that tension we didn't even know built up throughout the day.
So breath, be patient with the new schedule and enjoy the journey!